Starting a home business may be easier than you think. If you have a basic understanding of bookkeeping and marketing, you may already be sitting on a home based business. Consider turning your hobby into a source of income. If there's a market for it in your community, monetizing your hobby can be a great way to work from home.
Research Your Competition
Before you get too excited about turning your favorite activity into a business, you need to do some research. Is there already a lot of competition for this type of business in your area? Are there enough other enthusiasts out there to support a business? If not, how will you create new customers and retain them?
Selling Your Hobby to Customers
If your hobby is in a specialized area, and there are very few competitors in your community, there could be potential for a lot of business. Building ships in a bottle, remote controlled airplane kits, and other hobbies are very appealing to the right enthusiasts. However, potential customers often won't go out of their way to find these products, if there isn't a local place to buy them. Many people will try a new hobby or craft simply out of curiosity, or to see if it's something their children want to learn about.
If you market your hobby in your local area, you'll be able to draw in customers who otherwise would never look for a hobby shop. Depending on the product you're selling, you'll want to make sure you have enough space in your home to store your inventory. Start with a small stock of supplies if you don't have enough room initially.
If you can find a wholesaler to provide the kits or other products, you could be well on your way to monetizing your hobby.
Teaching Your Hobby to Customers
The other side to making money from your hobby is teaching it to others. Whether you write poetry, make quilts, or design custom jewelry, there are always people who want to learn a new skill. Offering classes to small groups is a fun way to share your hobby with others, and it has great money making potential. For example, you could sign up ten people for a specialized two-hour course. At $30 per person, that's an easy $150 an hour, and you make it by teaching about a hobby you love. Chances are, your students will also want to buy more products from you. Depending on the subject matter, you could also offer courses through paid conference calls.
Marketing Your Hobby to Others
Hobbies are a great way for parents and children to share an activity together. You could market your business very inexpensively through church newsletters or at local after school programs. Put flyers up on free bulletin boards at places like your local Boys and Girls Club. Start a blog and become an online authority on your hobby. This can be a great way to connect with other people who share your hobby, and if you set up an online store, it can bring in new customers.
A work at home business doesn't have to be based on advanced technical skills or other daunting subjects. If you've invested a lot of time and energy in a hobby, it has the potential to turn into a truly enjoyable home business.
Daphne Mallory, Esq. is the co-owner of Mallory Writing Services and has written more than 100 articles helping home based business owners and entrepreneurs start and market their business. You can learn more about her here.